Angel Gowns offer comfort to grieving families

Angel Gowns

Not long ago a colleague sent me an article about an organization that recycles wedding gowns into spectacular burial dresses fit for an angel. The particular program she mentioned was NICU Helping Hands’ Angel Gown Program, the largest of the growing number dedicated organizations that have taken up this incredible cause. 

NICU Helping Hands’ Angel Gown Program began in 2013 because we recognized the overwhelming need to support families who lost a baby while in the hospital. Our Angel Gown Program provides comfort for families by providing a beautiful gown for final photos and for burial services. There is no greater gift that can be given to a grieving family than affirming the importance of the life of their child by offering this simple gift. 

While the concept is relatively simple, the results are stunning. The dresses are meticulously crafted by volunteers such as Melissa Goad whose group, Little Angel Gowns, was recently profiled in a USA Today feature. But the dresses aren’t just beautiful. They are critical in filling a need for families in the unfortunate situation of losing an infant.

It’s hard to estimate how many families a year could benefit from the program. About 30,000 babies are stillborn in the U.S. each year, according to the MISS Foundation, a support group for families who have lost a child before birth. Then, there are those who make it to the NICU, but don’t survive.

Read the full story here: USA TODAY–Wedding gowns turned into ‘angel gowns’ for babies

Below are five simple ways you can help an angel gown organization turn a wedding dress into something even more special.



1)      Donate your dress

  • Come on, do you really need that dress that’s been hanging in the hall closet for 10 years? Consider donating it to one of the angel gown organizations listed below.

2)      Donate your time

  • Could there be a more wonderful and rewarding way to put those sewing skills to use? Contact NICU to find out how you can contribute your skills to the program.

3)      Donate money

  • Monetary donations go toward the cost of packaging and shipping. If you don’t sew or don’t have a dress to donate, you can still help by making a cash contribution.

4)      Buy dresses at garage sales or thrift stores

  • Wedding dresses can often be found for incredibly discounted prices at garage sales or thrift stores. The next time you see one, snap it up and donate it.

5)      Help get the word out

  • In addition to helping in tangible ways like donating dresses or money, you can help to spread the word about angel gowns. Share this article, post it on your Facebook or Twitter feed, or simply tell your friends and family about the program.



NICU Angel Gown Program

Little Angel Gowns

Angel Gowns by Michelle


This article was originally published on April 21, 2014 and has been updated.

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